Life continues to surprise us, doesn’t it? We’ve just experienced an election like no other in American history. Voter turnout was unprecedented and yet the nation feels more divided that I can ever recall in my lifetime.
I’m thinking about current events in this country and how they will take their place in our history. First and foremost in my mind is the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on our economy, our health care system, our families, and our daily activities. We need to be united in our efforts to slow the spread and eradicate this lethal threat.
Like the 1918 flu pandemic, this virus will long be remembered by multiple generations from its effects on our elderly in senior care facilities to our children removed from their classrooms and their friends.
As the holidays approach, I’m already worried about some family members who will be traveling and how best to manage Thanksgiving on a greatly reduced scale while trying to maintain some sense of normalcy for a 90-year-old father who is used to sitting at the head of a very large table. I’m also thinking about our local restaurants who have had to limit their service to outside tables or take-out only and how they will survive the cold, wet winter months.
Which brings me to the title, above. To get through this incredibly challenging time, we need to find the positive and moments of joy where we can. Last week, just before the rain, I introduced my six-and-a-half-year-old grandson to letterboxing. Easily socially-distanceable and free, this is an international outdoor activity—sort of like a treasure hunt—that involves written clues, rubber stamps and, in our case, long walks. It’s similar to geocaching but without coordinates. He had such a good time; he’s already asking to go again. For those few hours, autumn leaves crunching underfoot, I could breathe deeply and feel some of the tension lift from my shoulders.